Letters to the Editor

January 27, 2014

KCI, suspicious death, guns

Supporters of a new one-terminal Kansas City International Airport imply it would be a hub — a crossroads where many flights converge and exchange passengers.
Creating KCI hub

Supporters of a new one-terminal Kansas City International Airport imply it would be a hub — a crossroads where many flights converge and exchange passengers. These customers would demand more restaurants and shops in a big, secure common holding tank/retail space as they awaited connections.

Airlines do not choose hubs because of airport accommodations. Instead, they focus on how many originating and terminating passengers, in conjunction with people flying through, fill up planes. Required volume is a function of large populations such as Chicago or big attractions such as Las Vegas. Denver also offers lower take-off and landing costs.

Kansas City has been a Southwest hub because of route structure, lower costs and, until recently, no Denver presence. With Southwest in Denver, KCI’s direct non-stops decrease.

Increased fees would accelerate decline. As it is, many through Southwest passengers do not change planes. No hub means no secure mall is required. And, new technology could reduce check-in and security footprints. New KCI supporters need to present a true comparison.

Thomas Stroud

Overland Park Suspicious death

Why is a 58-year-old Kansas City woman dead after being arrested in Sherman County, Kan., for a small amount of marijuana (1-24, A1, “Woman’s death in Kansas jail investigated”)?

According to reports, it sounds as if she was in jail for at least three days before her death and was denied medication she had in her possession when arrested.

It is illegal in Kansas to possess marijuana, but why is a 58-year-old woman with health issues spending three days in jail for it? Why couldn’t she bond out on a signature bond?

Why did Kansas authorities feel so compelled to make an example out of her? The ridiculous hard-line approach applies to all Kansas citizens and visitors except to the people, it seems, who have connections to law enforcement, politics or government.

And, I’ll bet some of her civil rights were violated in the process. It’s shameful.

Michael Cummings Jr.

Kansas City, Kan. Gender gap in U.S.

As a public policy, the American Association of University Women advocates pay equity and fairness in compensation and supports affirmative action to improve gender diversity.

Jane Crigler is the Public Policy Chair for the Kansas City AAUW. She writes in a Jan. 23 letter that women need the Equal Rights Amendment to protect them from discrimination.

As evidence and proof of this discrimination she states that women average 78 cents for each dollar paid to men, with this wage gap continuing into retirement.

She conveniently ignores other gaps between men and women. The longevity of women is 6.7 years longer than men. According to her logic, this is sufficient evidence of sex discrimination.

The ultimate discrimination is death. Do the AAUW and Jane Crigler advocate fairness and affirmative action to correct this gap?

Perhaps there are reasons for these gaps that have nothing to do with discrimination.

Joe Needles

Independence Guns and safety

Yael T. Abouhalkah claims in a Jan. 24 Blog Bit, “Studies show that having more guns around leads to more homicides, suicides and violent incidents.”

I suggest he read “More Guns, Less Crime” by John Lott, now in its third edition, or the 2007 Harvard Law School study “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?”

Regarding the Kansas Republican Convention being “a little more dangerous,” more than 25 years of concealed-carry laws have failed to produce the blood-in-the-streets apocalypse so often predicted by liberals.

Dale Willer

Shawnee Clearing obituaries

You’re this far into this morning’s paper, so you must be done with the obituary section.

My point being, baby boomers and potential boomers, before you become part of the obituary section, there’s some living to be done.

The problem is the Republicans and tea party want to take your Social Security and Medicare benefits and turn them into tax credits for corporations and lower income taxes for the 1 percenters and 2 percenters. Those reaching retirement age are seen by the Republicans and the tea partiers as liabilities and parasites.

The evidence is underfunded programs for disabled veterans. It’s a national disgrace — attacks on health care, food assistance and shelters, and cutting transportation and supplemental nutrition programs for seniors.

So, geezers and geezerettes, it’s time to throw the bums out. The Republicans and tea party are trying to take your vote away, along with our earned federal and state entitlements.

For millions of seniors, these entitlements mean the difference between being an obituary or a living breathing NaNa, Granma, Granpa or loveable aunt or uncle. Don’t let the bums screw us over.

Paul Comerford

Blue Springs U.S. exceptionalism

American exceptionalism is a concept currently popular with the right. This is a code word for pride.

It means we are better than all other people. There is a reason pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

The American divide between the obscenely rich and the desperate poor resembles the one before the French Revolution. Our arrogance reminds one of the proud, corrupt Catholic clergy who reigned just before the Protestant Reformation. We haven’t seen such a concentration of U.S. wealth since the Rockefellers and Morgans dominated before the Great Depression.

We are fifth in the world in per-capita legal executions. We are way back in the pack when it comes to educating our children. We have a higher percentage of our people in jail than any other country.

“Pride goeth before a fall” should be embroidered on every Republican’s pillow.

Ben Vineyard

St. Joseph Fiscal responsibility

I am perplexed as to why the Republicans are so opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

The conservative term for Obamacare, “socialized medicine” (which is feared), is alive and well in the United States.

Just go into any emergency room, where you will see a roomful of people waiting to see the doctor on duty, receive the treatment that is prescribed and go home without paying for service. The government and insured folks pay for those people, not the hospital. Just make sure you have an app on your phone for the shortest wait.

What the Affordable Care Act is asking for is that all Americans take responsibility for their own health care through affordable insurance. At the Republican convention, the delegates were cheering for Mitt Romney because he was saying that Americans need to take responsibility, pay their own way and to get rid of the “takers.”

The lobbyists have taken over our Congress and airwaves and have people convinced of the opposite of what is truly happening.

I certainly agree with the conservatives on this point — take charge of your health care and pay your own way.

Donna Sunderson

Olathe Cheering Star carrier

The last 4-inch snowfall we had, our Kansas City Star carrier, Charles Vogt Jr. of Overland Park, pulled up our long inclined, unshoveled drive to throw the paper at our side door.

He didn’t have to do this, but it is one of the little things us old folks really appreciate. Thanks again for this kind and caring act.

Don and Betty Rinck Sr.


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